Title: First Strike Final Hour
Platform: PC (reviewed)
Developer: Blindflug Studios
Publisher: Blindflug Studios
Release date: Out now
Price: To be confirmed
TL;DR: The end of the world has never looked so good, or been so depressing.
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
“I know not with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.”
This humbling quote by Albert Einstein instantly springs to mind when I think about First Strike Final Hour; the very idea that weapons would be so catastrophic it would bring mankind back to the Stone Age is a very heavy idea to have.
Thankfully it seems I am not alone in this, as Blindflug’s incredibly depressing First Strike Final Hour emulates exactly how much of an apocalypse we are in for if someone decides to press the big red button.
The gameplay is simple at its core; you play as any global superpower from the USA to North Korea, as you build your countries defences, research new technologies, and ultimately fire Nuclear missiles at your enemies until they give up, or until they don’t exist anymore. It’s a game on the small scale, as each apocalyptic event rarely takes more than 45 minutes to either crush your enemies, or be crushed by them. That doesn’t mean the end, however, as after every game is completed, you will unlock more ways to play. Unlocks include new global superpowers, new weapons, or even new ways to tip the scales in your favour, ensuring that this game has a long life.
The game itself can be quite a depressing affair; depressing music plays throughout your path to global annihilation, almost as if the game knows all is lost. Gameplay wise, it is also rather melancholic; you click on your controlled territories, decide what to do, all the while watching your back just in case another country decides to fire first. It’s simple, but effective; as a result, you never fully trust any character you are apparently at peace with, because at any moment, they could attack. It really did not shock me to find out that this was a port of an already well established mobile game by the name of First Strike, also made by Blindflug. I have to say, they did do a decent job at porting it, although there were some hiccups.
I often found it that the wheel of selection that popped up as I tried to choose what to do next often did not align straight with my viewpoint, but decided to align if I was to be staring at that territory from a top down perspective, instead of being a bit to the left. This did make some elements of trying to rapidly defend my land from nuclear Armageddon a little bit more difficult than it had to be, as I was shifting my view constantly to try and read the selection wheel. This isn’t a major gripe, as I was able to read most of the options without moving my viewpoint too much, and it was only once of twice I found myself completely refocusing . I did have one major gripe with First Strike Final Hour, however.
First Strike Final Hour plays incredibly similarly to another game in both theme and gameplay. Now, I want to go on record and say that I don’t for one instance believe this to be deliberate, but there are too many similarities to ignore. 2006’s Defcon, by Introversion Software, is also a top down, depressing, nuclear apocalyptic game where the idea is to ensure your opponents get blown back to the Stone Age. I couldn’t help but think of it while I was playing First Strike Final Hour; they really are similar. For example, lets have a look at the trailers for both games.
Here is First Strike Final Hour.
And now the trailer for Defcon.
Pretty similar, huh? Now I will reiterate, I do not think that this is a deliberate similarity, but it still did give me pause.
This doesn’t stop the game from being pretty good; as morbid as it sounds, I really did enjoy destroying the whole of humanity and claiming leadership of the rubble that was left. Visually, the game looks great, and it gave me a real sense that maybe I was watching this all play out in my underground fallout shelter.
All in all I really did enjoy my time with First Strike Final Hour, despite the still baffling similarity with Defcon. I found myself coming back for more and more apocalyptic action, as I slowly brought the world to it’s knees.
- Visuals do not disappoint
- Sombre soundtrack which fits the tone
- The real feeling of your actions having consequences
- Layout can make the game tricky to use
- Cuts a bit too close to Defcon clone territory for my liking
- Annoying selection wheels are annoying
First Strike Final Hour: Family Focus
A game about systematically destroying whole civilizations is never an easy theme to discuss; I would advise to keep this from the kids . Unrated at time of review.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a digital code of the game provided by Blindflug Studio for the purpose of this review.